Georgia is taking action on a proposal to remove a tool men sometimes use to beat rape charges.
Sexual assault-related pregnancies in the U.S. amount to about 25,000 each year – and over 70 percent involve women who carry the baby to term. That's according to Joshua Edmonds of Georgia Right to Life, who tells OneNewsNow that his organization wants those women and children protected in Georgia.
"This legislation was really birthed from the story of a woman named Shauna Pruitt," he says. "She was a law student, and while she was at school she was attacked and became pregnant – and after she decided to choose life for her child and gave birth to her child, her rapist filed suit for parental rights over the child."
As Edmonds explains, Pruitt found there were no protections for her; and after conducting research, she launched a campaign for passage of laws dealing with the circumstances she had to endure.
Without such laws, says Edmonds, the victims are often at the mercy of their attackers. "The reality of things is that many times when a woman reports rape and is prosecuting a man criminally for rape, the man – if there is a child in the picture – will then file suit for parental rights over the child and use that case as leverage to get the woman to drop her rape charges."
Thirty states have passed laws protecting the woman and the child. Georgia will be #31 if the General Assembly passes it and the governor signs it into law.